August 13, 2018 / 6:14 AM / 10 months ago

Salzgitter sees import pressure after U.S. tariffs, shares fall

FILE PHOTO: Steel rolls are pictured at the plant of German steel company Salzgitter AG in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony on March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Salzgitter, Germany’s No.2 steelmaker after Thyssenkrupp, on Monday warned of a rise in imports into the European Union, a consequence of U.S. tariffs that forces suppliers to sell their products elsewhere.

Despite a strong first half, which saw pre-tax profit nearly double to 198.6 million euros ($225.97 million), Salzgitter stuck by its financial guidance for the current year, citing “uncertainty from trade policies and their possible impact”.

The group still expects sales of more than 9 billion euros and pre-tax profit of 250 to 300 million euros in 2018.

Shares in the group were indicated to open 3.1 percent lower, the biggest decliners among Germany’s mid-cap stocks. The broader German market was seen opening 0.7 percent lower.

“Import pressure ... has increased overall due to the considerable influx from other countries such as Turkey, India and South Korea – and also because of the first redirection effects resulting from U.S. anti-dumping duties,” Salzgitter said in its first-half report.

“The market environment therefore remains sensitive.”

U.S. President Donald Trump hit the EU, Canada and Mexico with tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium at the start of June, ending exemptions that had been in place since March.

The EU in July unveiled countermeasures, proposing a combination of a quota and a tariff to counter concerns that steel products no longer imported into the United States would instead flood European markets.

($1 = 0.8789 euros)

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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